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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gunnelpumpers

Symphonie Improvisé

Review by Gary Hill

Performing purely improvised music is often a daunting experience. It can limit the type of music in that generally nothing can change quickly or drastically. Things like that have to be rehearsed. That seems the only real limitation here. This music works between space music, classical, prog and a lot of other sounds. There are only two pieces here, both performed live during improvised shows, but each is over twenty minutes in length. This certainly isn’t for everyone, but it’s a cool ride.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cerfs-Volants Dans Le Ciel

Almost twenty three minutes in length, this thing works through a lot of changes, but nothing changes quickly or abruptly. At times it’s quite symphonic and mellow. At other points it rocks out quite a bit. Percussion rules at various points, but the melody is king throughout the majority of the piece. There’s a cool section around the nine minute mark that has a real early King Crimson feel, but reflecting the more dramatic and mysterious mellow side of that band. It gradually shifts from there into something that’s more world music meets classical, but it also manages to pull in the weirder side of Crimson after that, as it continues to evolve. It works out to more stripped down freeform weirdness later.  While it’s hard to pin down and describe, this is really quite an intriguing adventure to live.

Fièvre de Cerveau

This one seems to have more of a rocking element to it than the previous number did. That said, it’s still quite freeform and has plenty of classical instrumentation and sound built into it. There are definitely some noisy points in this and it’s certainly not for everyone. It’s spacey and often quite sparse. At over twenty four minutes in length, this one is even longer than its companion piece. It’s perhaps not as consistent an experience, but certainly has its moments. In a lot of ways it is more classical than the other performance. Still, there is plenty of rock and space in the mix at different points. It even shifts out to some serious psychedelia later,

 
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